Blockbuster Video and Hollywood Video used to be a dime a dozen in major cities across America. Then along came Netflix and sent both major chains packing. This week, video game retailers were introduced to a similar threat, thanks to Sony.
At this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Sony revealed their plans for a new game-streaming service to be launched for Sony platforms this summer. Dubbed “PlayStation Now,” the streaming service will send games from the PlayStation 3 library to both PS3s and PS4s, providing a workaround to the issue of backwards-compatibility. In addition to home consoles, Sony will integrate PS Now compatibility into 8 of the 9 models of their Bravia TV lineup in 2014.
The service looks to replicate Netflix’s model for movie streaming – provide a gameplaying experience in multiple locations as seamlessly as possible. Gamers spending many hours with Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us can take their game from their home console in the living room to their Bravia TV upstairs, or to a friend’s house on their home console; as the program expands, they can also take their game on the go with the PS Vita and a WiFi connection, and eventually to other internet-connected devices.
Sony is test running the service on the CES floor this week with the aforementioned The Last of Us, as well as Beyond: Two Souls, God of War: Ascension, and Puppeteer. Prices and titles have not yet been released, but Sony says they will offer a rent-by-title option and a subscription option. The company also says most PlayStation Network features will be available on PS Now, including Trophies and online multiplayer.
Sony will start a beta of the PlayStation Now service in late January.